Why bother with Checklists?

Checklist Image

Checklists are a great way to make sure you don’t miss anything, be it whether you are going shopping, organising a party, going on holiday or have a project to finish.

Checklists can be seen as being cumbersome and creating more work, but to me the value is in knowing that everything that has to be done is accounted for. This may not be seen as critical for our day to day lives, but there are countless occasions where you simply cannot afford to miss a single step or item. An often quoted example is when a pilot gets into the cockpit of a plane, he or she has to run through a series of questions to ensure everything is properly checked. Any omissions could mean the difference between life and death if something goes wrong at 30,000 feet.

I’ve used and continue to use checklists for various things, including travel, moving home, tax returns, monthly reviews, and all aspects of projects that I work on. I use Evernote to maintain my checklists and each time I need to use, I simply make a copy, update the title and tags, and use that copy. If I find that I’ve missed anything, I go back to my original checklist template and update accordingly.

Here are some handy tips from Josh Kaufman of The Personal MBA fame.